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Any experience with 2.5" Seagate BarraCuda drives?

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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Jul 26, 2017
Normally, I'd prefer NAS Drives like the WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf (their respective non-pro versions with slower spindles), however I just noticed that Seagate has a 2.5" drive with up to 5 TB (at 15mm height).

These have similar stats as lower end NAS drives (that is, a 10e-14 error rate - only the 6+ TB IronWolf seem to have 10e-15), but with better power draw (1.2A on 5V on startup, compared to 1.5-2.0A on 12V for 3.5" drives, 2.1W average write power draw, compared to 5-8W on 3.5" drives).

In short: These 2.5" Seagate BarraCuda drives look really interesting, and are priced similarly to 3.5" WD Red/Seagate Ironwolf drives.

But: They aren't advertised for NAS. This mainly seems to mean a shorter warranty (2 years, compared to 3 years on WD Red and IronWolf) and I assume no vibration reduction/syncing with other drives (which seems not to be a big deal for 2.5" drives anyway). I haven't found a proper answer if those BarraCudas support ERC though, which seems like it would be very desireable to have.

Sadly, 2.5" WD Red only go up to 1 TB, and Seagate doesn't have any 2.5" IronWolf drives.

So I wonder: Does anyone have experience with 2.5" BarraCuda drives in a NAS?


May 17, 2014
I too wondered about using 2.5" drives when I bought my NAS a few years ago. In the end, I went with 4 x 3.5" drives since that gave me more options.

If you do go with them, I would suggest planning on having an extra / free 2.5" slot for in-place disk replacements. ZFS allows a better scheme of disk replacements if the disk to be replaced has not failed completely. Basically ZFS will mirror the old, failing disk to the new, replacement disk. (Unless it needs missing data, then ZFS uses what other redundancy information is available, like in a RAID-Zx.) When the mirror / copy is complete, the old, failing disk is dropped and can then be physically removed. This is nice if you have a RAID-Z1 or only 2 way Mirrors, since a second drive failure during re-silver may not cause total loss of Pool.

Last, if you can, get a chassis that supports at least 1 hot swap 3.5" disk slot. You can then use a higher capacity 3.5" disk, like 8TB or 10TB for backups.
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